One noticeable characteristic of Shiba Inu is its beautiful and plush coat. However, the coat is not there for beauty. It acts as a defense against bacteria, dirt, heat, and cold. To keep the coat in good condition, I usually give my Shiba Inu an occasional bath and a daily brush. It is not generally a good idea to give your Shiba Inu a haircut.
If you must cut the coat of your Shiba Inu, then it should be done in a veterinarian office in the course of medical treatment. This means that you should not shave your Shiba Inu to make grooming easier or for stylistic purposes. Shaving your Shiba Inu can damage their health. One main reason you should not cut your Shiba Inu is based on the fact that they are double-coated.
Difference Between Double Coated Dogs and Single Coated Dogs
Even though canines have different fur texture, styles, colors, and lengths, they can only be single or double-coated. Canines that are single coated have only one layer of hair in their bodies. They usually come from warmer regions of the world, and they don’t shed that much; thus, they are much easier to groom.
Although it is not advisable to shave single-coated breeds, the effects are not that drastic, and a little shave could be necessary, especially during warm seasons.
Double coated dogs are different compared to single coated dogs. Having a double coat means that the dog has a top coat and an undercoat. The topcoat comprises of coarser hair, and the undercoat is fluffy and war. This acts as an insulator while also protecting the dog from foreign bodies.
Most double-coated canines blow out their coats yearly and are always shedding, especially during the spring or hot sunny days.
Why the Coat is Vital for Shiba Inus
The plush coats in Shiba Inu are not only for making it look beautiful. Shiba Inu was first bred in Japan, and it acted as a hunting dog; thus, it could withstand unfavorable conditions and vigorous exercise. Shiba Inu could mainly hunt in the bush, which contained prickly foliage, such as thorns.
The double coat used to protect them from foreign elements in the bush. Even though my Shiba Inu is not hunting rabbits in the bush, I believe it still needs the coat to protect itself from debris, heat, cold, dirt, and dust.
Although it seems to contradict, the thick double coat acts as a defense against the heat. When the Shiba Inu pants, the heat is released through the skin to the coat, which directs it away from the body.
It also has delicate skin, which is protected by the double coat, especially during sunny seasons. By shaving your Shiba Inu, you expose it to bacteria, irritation, weather, and infections.
Friends of mine who have once shaved their Shiba Inu testify that their fur grows back unevenly and sporadically, which brings about matted hair. This mainly happens because the topcoat tends to grow faster compared to the undercoat after the shave.
When Should You Shave a Shiba Inu?
Every rule has exceptions. For Shiba Inus, you can only shave its entire body or small portions when it is deemed medically necessary. Your veterinarian should advise you on when it is required to shave your Shiba Inu, and he should probably do it for you. Most surgeries and parasitic infections call for shaving.
If it is a must for you to shave your Shiba Inu, always brush them frequently after the shave to make sure when the hair is growing back, it does not get matted.
Shiba Inu Coat Care
The double coat of Shiba Inu does not need high maintenance in terms of coat care, but they usually require an occasional bath and regular brush to stay healthy and clean.
During shedding, always ensure you brush the Shiba Inu more frequently using a de-shedding tool. To reduce shedding, I always ensure that I am diligent in keeping my Shiba Inus coat healthy and clean. I also ensure that it doesn’t get any irritation.
Since at a young age, my Shiba Inu is used to brushing, and now that it is a grown-up dog, it does not give me any headache when it is being groomed.
A trained Shiba Inu is always easy to groom, and brushing sessions take less than 5 minutes. Caring for your Shiba Inu from a young age reduces the risk of irritations and disease, which in turn reduces the probability that the Shiba Inu will ever be required to shave because of medical issues.
Grooming your Shiba Inu is very important, but you should never think of giving it a haircut if not advised by a veterinarian. Do not shave your Shiba Inu for it to have a fancy look without considering its health.
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